FC Nordsjælland are excited about hosting their first UEFA Champions League group stage game, with coach Kasper Hjulmand eager for his side to show European champions Chelsea FC what they are made of in Group E, while visiting manager Roberto Di Matteo is looking to get three points on the board.
Coach Kasper Hjulmand
We are really looking forward to this match. We are proud to be here, and our first home match is going to be special. We feel a lot of joy and pride to be in the Champions League. We are a young club – only ten years old – and we are progressing slowly. We have won back-to-back cups and then last season we won the title. We played two tight matches against Sporting Clube de Portugal in the UEFA Europa League play-off last season and that has given us confidence.
The big thing for us is to show who we are. This is the biggest test of all. Chelsea are the champions of Europe and top of the English table. They are one of the best clubs in the world. We have to trust ourselves, help each other out and show courage.
The key words for us are dedication, joy and courage. We must do our best to play our style of football.
Friday: Nordsjælland 3-0 Esbjerg fB (John 32, Lorentzen 51, Stokholm 89)
Hansen; Parkhurst, Okore, Runje, Mtiliga; Adu, Stokholm; Laudrup (Christiansen 60) (Gundelach 89) Lorentzen, John (Ticinovic 74); Nordstrand
• Joshua John scored his eighth goal in seven league appearances. Nordsjælland are unbeaten at home this season and lie third in the league, six points adrift of leaders FC København.
Nordsjælland have reported no injury problems and are happy to be playing in Copenhagen, rather than in their native Farum. "We feel at home at Parken," said Hjulmand. "It is the national stadium, and we have played some great games here and lifted two cups, so it will not be a problem."
Manager Roberto Di Matteo
For us, tomorrow is the most important match in the group, after we drew our last match against Juventus. Nordsjælland is a fantastic story of a club winning the title with a young coach and by playing attractive football. They are a strong team, which they showed against Shakhtar Donetsk [in an opening 2-0 loss]. They like to keep the ball but we also have a lot of emphasis on possession.
We prepare for every game in the same way. We know from the past that there are not any easy games in the Champions League.
It is a crucial game for us. We are favourites on paper and a win would help in what we are aiming for. Our squad is very strong with a lot of international players. We have a solid backbone in the team which we are building on and our new signings are slowly getting used to our system. It will be an interesting match. We hope to play a good game, score one goal more than our opponents and pick up the three points.
Saturday: Arsenal FC 1-2 Chelsea (Gervinho 42; Torres 20, Mata 53)
Čech; Ivanović, Cole, Luiz (Cahill 81), Terry; Ramires, Oscar, Mikel, Hazard; Torres, Mata (Bertrand 84).
• Chelsea continued their unbeaten start to the domestic season and opened up a three-point gap at the Premier League summit thanks to goals from Spanish duo Fernando Torres and Juan Mata.
Centre-back David Luiz was taken off due to injury against Arsenal but has travelled to Denmark. Striker Daniel Sturridge (hamstring) has not, with Torres expected to start up front again.
Chelsea failed to win any of their away games in last year's group stage, drawing at Valencia CF and KRC Genk before going down 2-1 at Bayer 04 Leverkusen. That was only their second reverse in their last nine away group games, four of which they have won.
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